Mobile operator Orange has made the popular social network Facebook available to its African customers through USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data).
“Facebook via USSD allows Orange customers to access the service, regardless of the phone they are using. Even users with older or very basic handsets without an internet connection or data plan will be able to stay in touch with their family and friends on Facebook through a simple and affordable text-based service,” Orange said in a statement.
Xavier Perret, Orange Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, said Facebook plays a big role in how people communicate. “Social networks such as Facebook have completely changed how people stay in contact with their family and friends, and it is important our customers, regardless of the phone they have, are able to access and participate in these services.
“We feel it is our role to help our customers enjoy a digitally rich, connected life and services such as Facebook via USSD this possible,” he said.
To enable this service, customers should enter a specific code on their phones to open a Facebook session via USSD session, then enter a PIN code to access the service securely. No special applications are required.
Charlie Fripp – Online editor